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From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1844)

AMBLESTON, a parish, in the union of HAVERFORDWEST, hundred of DUNGLEDDY, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 8 miles (N.N.E.) from Haverfordwest containing 605 inhabitants. This place has been identified as the site of the long sought for Roman station Ad Vigesimum, noticed in the Itineraries, as the first from Maridunum, or Carmarthen, from which the distance corresponds exactly with that mentioned in the Itinerary. The discovery, which, from a variety of concurrent testimony, appears to be founded on truth, was made in the year 1805, by Mr. Fenton, author of the "Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire," accompanied by Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., while collecting materials for that work. The form of the station, which is situated about a mile to the north-east of the church, is nearly a perfect square, having the angles rounded off, and comprehends an area two hundred and sixty feet in dimensions: the agger by which it was enclosed, though nearly effaced by tillage, may still be accurately traced: and the Via Julia, leading from Maridunum to Menapia, passes through the centre of the area. The camp is called by the inhabitants Castel Flemish, from having been subsequently occupied by the Flemings, who first settled in this part of the principality, in order to assist in subjugating the natives; and another Roman road, more to the north, and afterwards uniting with the Via Julia near St David's, is from the same source designated Via Flandrica, or "the Flemish way." Within the area of the station have been found Roman bricks and cement, part of a stuccoed floor, a large flagstone bearing an inscription, now lost, and other Roman relics. At a short distance to the west, near the village of Ford, are the remains of a smaller camp, evidently of Roman construction, and probably the Campus Aestivus of the station; and in the same neighbourhood were discovered, in 1806, the remains of a Roman hypocaust, six feet in depth, and eight feet long on each side with stone and cement, from which two flues of one foot four inches in the aperture, and widening towards the upper extremity, rose in an angular direction to the surface; they were formed of fluted Roman bricks. The lands in this parish are, with a very trifling exception, all enclosed, and the soil is in general fertile; the rateable annual value being returned at 970. 10. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at 3. 19. 4. 1/2. , endowed with 600 royal bounty, and 200 parliamentary grant; present net income, 183; it is in the gift of the crown; impropriator, Lloyd Phillips, Esq. The Church is dedicated to St. Mary. There is a chapel of ease in the parish, called Rinaston chapel. The Calvinistic Methodists have a place of worship here. In a day school 26 children are instructed at the expense of their parents; and a Sunday school, consisting of 88 males and 81 females, is supported by the Calvinistic Methodists.

Gareth Hicks, 15 Dec 1999

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